By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has called on Western countries not to focus on residual troubled spots when planning for Africa saying most of the continent is peaceful and secure with no war or the threat of potential war.
“There are some problems in Eastern Congo, Somalia and parts of North Africa but almost 70percent of Africa is peaceful with no possibility of war. When planning for companies to invest in Africa, don’t focus on troubled areas because those are residual,” he said.
The President, who is on a three-day working visit in Holland, was meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Frans Timmemans at his residency at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Hague.
Timmemans was accompanied by the Director Sub-Saharan Africa Micheal Stibbe and the desk officer for Uganda Ms. Eva Van Woersem. The meeting was also attended by Uganda’s ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Union Mirjam Blaak and that of the Netherlands to Uganda Alphons Hennekens.
He said what has been lacking in Africa is visionary leadership that could easily identify strategic bottlenecks that have been keeping Africa back.
“There are various bottlenecks including the wrong attitude towards the private sector that led to the nationalization of private assets and the lack of infrastructure such as electricity generation. But these have been identified and the private sector is now emancipated,” he said, adding that they are now addressing the issue of markets and trade through regional integration.
“There is more progress and Africa is becoming more vibrant. I speak English but am getting more business from the Chinese than from my English speaking friends. Europe needs to support their companies to invest in Africa,” he said.
On the conflict in Eastern DRC, President Museveni said they are trying to make sure that Eastern Congo does not become a haven for terrorists and called on political leaders and development partners to support President Kabila to concentrate on developing an ideology and building state institutions.
“The idea is not to improve our CVs as having been president. The idea is the mission. If your country is sick what diagnosis do you have for it,” he said.
Minister Timmermans said his government highly appreciates President Museveni’s vision and efforts in Africa and in the Great Lakes region to bring peace and stability and pledged their support to more peace keeping initiatives. He said there is need for a change of attitude in the western world to have more enthusiasm to know what is happening in Africa.
“Government highly appreciates your vision and efforts in Africa and the Great Lakes region to bring peace and stability. Change of attitude is necessary so that people here can be more enthusiastic about what is happening in Africa,” he said.
The two leaders discussed various local and regional issues including the situation in DRC and Somalia.
The meeting was also attended by Uganda’s members of parliament Monica Amoding for Youth and Kyewalabye Majegere Waira.